They Who Would Mud-Wrestle With GWAR
:: Serial Killers - Dark Side of the Serial Killers + Serial Killers, Part Two ::
My mom and dad really didn’t approve of the sounds they heard coming from their 13-year old son’s room (no, I’m not talking about those kind of sounds), and I’m sure if they had ever discovered this album I would have returned home one day to find it broken in half and thrown in the trash. The cover alone, front & back, would have inched me a bit closer to the actualization of the threat I heard come out of my dad’s mouth quite often at that age – “one more time, young man, and you’re going to Valley Forge Military Academy!” It was one my favorite records then, as it is now, so I kept it safe from prying parent-fingers.
“Roadside Rendezvous” on PLUS Records, was the first and last LP by Philly schlock-rock band, Serial Killers, released in 1987. They did have a follow-up 7 inch, Heidnik’s House of Horrors, which I posted here awhile back. They broke up and fell off the face of the earth in January of 1990. I taped their 2nd to last gig, which took place in, and was broadcast from, Drexel University’s WKDU radio studio. Whenever I get a deck that doesn’t chew up tapes, I’ll try and post some of that here, as it’s got a bunch of songs that you won’t find on their two obscure releases.
Guitarist Tim Omen, the main songwriter, was formerly in San Francisco’s Condemned to Death. Vocalist Paul Bearer was from Philly, but was hanging around in San Francisco and met up with Omen in 1985. They both moved back to Philly and formed Serial Killers, combining the horror movie shtick with copious amounts of pro-wrestling references and, most importantly, a grand sense of humor. Their live shows were gore fests filled with fake blood and “victims” being dragged onto stage, or so I always heard, as I never got to see them (too young to get in, sigh). I kind of remember hearing about one show in which they had a battle-of-the-bands “wrestling match” against GWAR. I don’t know who won.
The track I’ve posted is actually two songs, “Dark Side of the Serial Killers” and “Serial Killers, Part Two.” They segue into each other, and there’s no reason to split them up, so be warned - it’s a 9 minute track. But it’s a dark and fun little trip that they take you on, and contains sparkling examples of the comedy you’ll find all over the album in lyrics like, “I’m a serial killer and I’m not the only one/I’m a serial killer – got a retard cousin likes to join in on the fun.” Ha! Well, I think it’s funny. The fact that these guys never took themselves seriously is what makes them so great. It’s that sense of humor that my folks, at the time, would have taken literally and freaked out over. And it’s that sense of humor which will always have me choosing these guys over the Misfits to fill my occasional horror rock ‘n’ roll craving.